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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Knowle and surprise visit

After the day we had yesterday it was lovely to have got through Knowle locks without mishap. Thats not to say that I didn't find  the locks challenging. If you have never been through Knowle then you wont know about the huge square pounds that lead you from one lock into another. Apart from 1 bollard as you leave the lock and one on entry to the next, there is nowhere to tie to so all you can do is stay ( if you can ) in the middle and wait.  No problem, you might think, but the swirl of water after emptying the lock into a square pound threw the boat in every direction except for the way I wanted it to go. It got to the stage where Ian opened just one paddle, then leaving me in the lock, would race to get the next lock filled and top gate open before racing back to me to let me out. I would then take a run at the open gate and hope for the best!!

Knowle top lock

Not a good view of the pound but gives a general idea

Last lock. ( Note the sun hat. Yep it was sunny!!!!)

It probably would have been easier with more bodies helping so if another boat had joined us it would have been good. Shame it was not to be. Still we made it down in one piece and stopped  near to The Herons Nest pub by bridge 70 to await a visit from Christine, Kev and Josh. A phone call last night from Christine came as quite a surprise when she asked if they could come and see us. So after we moored it was a frantic hour trying to tidy up and get the floors clear of the tumbleweed of dog hair that always seems to be present. Why I bothered I don't know because their dog Echo sheds as much hair as Jade. Double the amount to get rid of tomorrow then!! Anyway my bread supplies were almost nil and I hadn't enough time to bake a loaf  to give them lunch, so instead we made for the pub. Not a bad meal as roasts go, but my only complaint was the so called roast potatoes tasted more like mash with a skin on!! Back at the boat the fishing gear came out because Josh wanted to have a go at fishing. Before that Christine and Ian took him to a small animal sanctuary to see the birds and horses while Kev and I set up the rods. Once back he insisted on fishing his way. The rod was never still and all he wanted to do was throw maggots into the water. Well he isn't three until August so what did I expect.. He managed remarkably well considering he is naturally right handed and had to use his left hand for everything. Thankfully on the last xray the two bones in his arm were healing nicely. Only another 5 weeks before the cast comes off.

Josh trying his hand at fishing

Kev trying to catch but not having any  luck.

Maggots fascinate Josh.

Running to bring Nana a flower.

The view from our moorings. ( Bottom of Knowle Flight.)
Both of us love to see the family but its equally as nice when we get our boat back to some sort of normality after they have gone. We watched the weather on Countryfile and it doesn't look to promising for tomorrow so maybe we might just stay another day.

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